"Where is it?" I asked.
"My son is playing with it in the kitchen."
"It's a baby eastern brown snake."
"Oh! They grow up to be poisonous, don't they!"
I almost told her that of the world's 14 most poisonous snakes, it's number 14. Instead, I said "They're venomous when they hatch. You're lucky the mouth and fangs are too small to bite a finger, or you'd be up in the hospital now."
"Your son would be getting antivenein there."
I heard her put the phone down then scream out "DAVID PUT THAT BLOODY THING DOWN NOW!" She came back and asked me what to do. What I wanted to say was the eastern brown snake makes an excellent pet and enjoys being cuddled. I told her to take it to the edge of town and let it go. I had to.